New Monthly Print Magazine Pays Its Way to 400,000+ Circulation

CaliforniaSundayLogoOn Sunday October 5, more than 400,000 subscribers to the San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee and Los Angeles Times will find something new within the bundle on their doorstep: The California Sunday Magazine, a startup devised by freelancer Douglas McGray and Federated Media co-founder Chas Ewards.

The monthly, print-side half of the pair’s business model is most intriguing. Not only does it give them instant traction at both the advertiser and circulation-base ends. But if successful, it could prove to be a model of revenue for other grouped regional newspapers. From a piece by Michael Learmonth, global tech editor of the International Business Times:

McGray and Edwards are paying the newspapers for distribution, much like Target would for an ad insert, and targeting 400,000 people who live in affluent neighborhoods. The rate card for the print edition is $40,000 a page; Edwards says the magazine will launch with 10 advertisers, including Google Play, Lexus, Converse, MailChimp and the Ace Hotel.

The California Sunday Magazine‘s reach is a fraction of Parade magazine, rumored to be on the auction block. But by targeting affluent zip codes, this pair may be re-inventing the weekend newspaper supplement wheel with some spin that will last.

McGray and Edwards’ impressive editorial team includes: creative director Leo Jung, formerly the design director at Wired and deputy art director at the New York Times Magazine; photography director Jacqueline Bates, previously the senior photo editor of W magazine; and senior editor Nicole Allan, formerly a senior editor with The Atlantic.

This new enterprise is offering several levels of Web-only subscription. The cheapest of which goes entirely to the staff we just highlighted:

FAN ($39.99/year): Get unlimited access to The California Sunday Magazine on the Web, iPhone, iPad, Android devices, and Kindle e-readers. One-hundred percent of your Fan contribution goes directly to writers and artists.